NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said multiplicity of proceedings and delay with regard to dispute over Lord Krishna's birthplace were not in the interest of anybody as it apparently favoured the suits being tried by the Allahabad High Court.
The top court, however, sought details of the pending suits related to Krishna Janmabhoomi at Mathura, which have been transferred by the Allahabad High Court to itself for adjudication.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia said pendency of matter causes its own disquiet as multiple suits have been filed in the matter.
"It is in the larger interest of everybody that the matter is decided at a higher level," the bench orally said.
The HC's single judge bench had on May 26, 2023 said the pending matters were related to issue of "seminal public importance affecting the masses beyond tribe and communities" and had not proceeded an inch further for the past two to three years, which provided full justification for withdrawal and transfer of those suits to the High Court.
Taking up a plea by the Muslim side, which challenged the validity of the High Court's May 26 order on transfer of suits, the bench asked if it is not in the interest of everybody that the suits are consolidated and tried at the higher level at the earliest.
A counsel for the petitioner Committee of Management Trust, Shahi Masjid Idgah contended the suits were filed only in 2020. The transfer petition was, however, filed in the HC with regard to one suit.
They also said that the transfer of suits would deprive the parties of an appellate jurisdiction and all the parties do not have wherewithal to travel to the High Court.
The bench again said it would be better if the issue is settled at higher level.
The court, however, asked HC's Registrar General to provide information of the suits ordered to be clubbed and transferred by the High Court to itself.
It is to be noted that suits related to Ram Janmabhoomi at Ayodhya was also transferred for trial before the High Court on July 10, 1989, which was decided on September 30, 2010. The Supreme Court on November 9, 2019 decided the dispute in favour of Hindu side.
In the instant case, the Allahabad High Court on May 26, 2023 ordered for transfer of all the cases related to Krishna Janmabhoomi pending before the Mathura court to itself.
The order was passed on a transfer petition filed by Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and seven others.
The court had then also exercised its suo motu power for the suits of similar nature, by withdrawing it from the lower civil court concerned and transferred those to the High Court.
A plea was first filed in the court of civil judge senior division on September 25, 2020 by Lucknow-resident Ranjana Agnihotri, and others as the "next friend of Bhagwan Sri Krishna Virajman".
It said that Shahi Idgah Masjid is constructed on a part of 13.37 acre land belonging to the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust. They had demanded the mosque be removed and the land returned to the Trust.
They also contended that the Shahi Idgah Mosque had been built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after demolishing a part of the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi.
They have also challenged the 1968 agreement between the Shahi Idgah Mosque Committee and the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust allowing the Mosque to continue to exist and use the land on which it was situated.
They also made claim over the entire birth place of Lord Krishna and sought removal of alleged encroachment of superstructure built as Shahi Idgah masjid over there.